Is implementing a data tracking plan much needed?

21 May, 2022

1 min

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Have you ever thought about building your dream house without a blueprint? It’s like going to the grocery store without a shopping list. Quite messy, right? Well, it’s the same that happens with processing data without a data tracking plan. Not impractical but destabilizing. 

30 % of organizations have no strategy to update inaccurate or incomplete records. Make a difference! If we have decided to talk about a data tracking plan today, it’s because most companies underestimate the necessity of implementing a data blueprint, and you might be one of this 30% of companies. 

You think that it’s time-consuming? Superfluous? But, think about it: it will help you save time but not only. It will also help you track good data so that you can process it efficiently. You’d better consider it, right? If you want to know more about data tracking, why is it needed, and how to set up one, continue reading.

Why should you track your data?

Everything starts with the necessity of tracking data. You may already know how precious data collection can be to understand your audience, customers, business performance… But do you try to collect it wisely? Have you set up guidelines to make the process flowing? 

Data tracking is the process that regroups the collecting, categorizing and processing of data to use it for analysis purposes in a data warehouse, for example.

By collecting the relevant data, you make sure that your decision process will speed up since your teams will have concrete figures to rely on. It’s a true added value that should be the basis of your decision-making process

Your marketing team will make the most of the data collected to guide their decision-making process (what’s the budget allocated to your marketing hub? Which advertizing campaign works best? How to optimize your budget? …)

Collecting data wisely
with a data tracking plan

The data tracking plan is the strategy that will define your processes and guidelines for data tracking. It’s the architect’s blueprint we were talking about before. A good tracking plan should help you: 

  • Summarize the events and properties needed
  • Detail the specific data tracking interest
  • Make things clear regarding coding guidelines

It is a document that may circulate between your stakeholders (and not only your data scientists!) so make sure that it is understandable and often updated. To make it simple, your data tracking plan should answer the 3 following W-questions

  • What data do you track? 
  • Where should the data go?
  • Why do you track such data?

Why is a data tracking plan
much needed?

A data tracking plan: what’s the point?

A data tracking plan works like a data road map. Whenever data scientists want to collect or process data for a new customer account, they can refer to this document. More than a precious frame of reference for data scientists, this document helps the whole team. Why so? 

The tracking plan includes a listing of all the pages tracked and a mapping of all the tags with their location, use and property. For instance, here is an example of a data tracking plan you can find on Twilio Segment.

data-tracking-plan

The left column gives you the name of the event. Then you have the reason for tracking this specific event, the properties and the time and location of tracking. If you are not familiar with data tracking, that information might seem odd but it’s the ABC:

  • An event data is a piece of information collected on a user’s action (it includes: who is the user, what did he perform on your website and when). Example: sign up users. It helps you know how many new users have signed up for your website. 
  • Event properties are all the attributes that characterize a specific event. Event properties can be: description, lives, status, action... Example: imagine that you want to track sign up users. Properties will be: name, IP address, location...

Companies often drop data collection for it’s time-consuming and too complicated. But, is it not worth it? Collecting and processing your data should be the basis of your marketing decision process. If you want to discuss the necessity of data tracking, make an appointment with us!

What events should you track?

You won’t track the same events depending on your activity and your reporting needs. But here is a thing: even if there is no straightforward answer to this question, there are some events you may better track. 

To help you know which events you should track, you should think about the different information you need to collect on your customers. For instance, if you want to know if your last ads have a good conversion rate, you might want to track events regarding click-through rate, interest of your customers or interest of prospects for your ads. 

To start implementing your data tracking plan, ask yourself the 3 following questions:

  1. What do I want to know? 
  2. How can I justify it? 
  3. What’s the data I can track to answer those two questions?

If you want some ideas of metrics you can track, think about: total users, active users, average revenue per user, click-through rate, engagement rate...

3 key benefits of this much needed framework

Now that you know what is a data tracking tool and how it can help; here are the 3 main interests of this workframe:

  1. A data tracking plan helps you stay consistent: by consistency, we mean that it makes it easier for the people who work with your data team to manipulate your data and understand it to make the most of it. 
  2. It helps you prevent complexity: if you take the time to update your data tracking plan often, you make sure that this document gives a true representation of the state of your data collection. This becomes your work frame of reference!

It gives you a clearer picture of your KPIs and objectives. If you know exactly what data you’re tracking and what objectives you're pursuing, you can track your progress in a much simpler way.

When your data tracking plan
becomes your new favorite asset

If you are tracking data and lack consistency and strictness, you need to create a data tracking plan. Defining upstream your objectives and keeping track of your progress is the best way to achieve them!

Note that a tagging plan is never completed; it's more of a frameworkTrack your tracking: this is what this work tool really helps you do, and we bet you should better start now!

By Emma Jeanpierre

17 Jan, 2022